Each year, the newest additions to the terminal tackle category often get overlooked due to the flash and glamour of new baits, rods, and reels. Yet, terminal tackle is often times one of the most important links between an angler and the fish he hopes to land. And, with today’s technology, components like hooks and jigheads continually improve and though the changes my be subtle over previous designs, those subtle changes can offer you a better chance of landing more and bigger bass.
This new hook from Gamakatsu makes the top of my list because there’s nothing I love more than snell-knotting a heavy, straight shank hook onto heavy braid and chasing fish in the heaviest of cover. So, what makes this straight shank better than its predecessors? For one, it was designed by Aaron Martens. From watching someone like Aaron over the years, and even having the chance to conversate with him a few times, I know that anything that has his input is going to be looked at, thought about, and reviewed from every angle possible. It’s a heavy wire hook made for heavy duty situations, has a smooth coating to prevent line fray, a great keeper to keep your plastics from moving around, and a redesigned hook point for better penetration.
If you enjoy throwing swimbaits either to schooling fish or to offshore fish in general, this little guy is a must have. I like that it’s simple yet offers everything you would want in a jig head. A heavy wire hook to keep you hooked up, a spring lock to keep your plastic in place, great eye detail, and a willow blade underneath. While many have grown accustomed to throwing a basic lead-head for their soft swimbaits, this can be an effective tool to show fish a little something different on your home lake while remaining very affordable compared to other bladed heads.
For those times that you want a swimming action for your plastic, but instead of offshore or open water situations you’re faced with grass or other cover, the Z-Man Texas Eye jigheads are just the tool. Offered in both an XL and a Finesse version, this is likely to become a staple in many tackle boxes. The XL being the perfect size for standard to above averaged sized swimbaits and chunking into brushpiles and over submerged grass, the finesse offering is perfectly suited for clear water or highly pressured situations. This is a jig head that has, and will continue, to see a lot of playing time in my boat!
Continuing to trend in the direction of finesse and building on the overall popularity of the Ned style baits, Z-Man provides yet another option to fit certain situations. Football shaped jigheads have become standard for dragging along the bottom for their ability to resist snags and hang-ups on wood, rocks, and other hard cover. In the times when the bite gets tough and a smaller meal must be presented, the Football Nedz is the perfect option to deliver classic Ned Rig action paired with football jig versatility.